Alright, I don’t actually love the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test), but I’m not a student who hates the MCAT either. But around this time each summer, thousands of students are stressed the hell out about the MCAT. For most, they have never written a test that will be weighted so heavily. This CAN be a single test that will prevent you from being admitted to a medical school. The MCAT will test you on a broad range of sciences, from physics, chemistry, bio orgo, and admittedly most students will be weak in at least one subject, if not more. Not only is there plenty of different concepts and facts to remember, this test will also challenge your reading comprehension and writing skills. And most people who went into the sciences, did so to escape the dreaded essay writing they did in high school. To top it off, your marks are bell curved and graded against other test takers, so even if you answered the majority of questions correctly, someone out there could have done better and your score will suffer because of it. Each year, only around 20% of test takers will receive a competitive score of 30+
I’m not an expert at taking the MCAT. I have only had to take it once. I didn’t go to a prep class, but instead, I borrowed the books from friends who had a Kaplan and The Princeton Review class and self studied off them. I had not taken organic chemistry yet, so I borrowed a 2nd year orgo textbook. Lastly, I got my hands on some AAMC, TPR, and Kaplan Full length practice tests and worked away at them. This summer, I landed a job with Kaplan teaching students how to prepare for the MCAT. With the experience of having written the first batch of computerized tests, and subsequently watching my friends study for this beast, I have made a list of advice and things you can do to keep the stress down and make the process more pleasant and maybe even enjoyable?